Types of Fishing Swivels

Written by Chris Alan

Fishing needs the right equipment that ensures the best functioning and makes it possible to have great chasing. An essential fishing tool is a swivel which allows the line to spin freely and assist in penetrating tangles. It keeps the bait or lure twist-free. This whole blog contains information about fishing swivels and enables anglers to have great fishing by using the right tool and enjoy fishing to their fullest by having complete guidance.

What is Fishing Swivel?

It is a small metal device with a pivot point in its middle, and the two metal rings are attached at its ends. These metal rings are connected to that joint that has an anchor insertion in the joint. This point allows the swivel to rotate in any direction freely.

The primary advantage of the fishing swivel is that it helps prevent the line from twisting when a lure or bait is attached and rotates in the water.

Another advantage of the fishing swivel is that it comes with a snap attached at the end of the swivel; it makes it convenient to switch out the bait or leader line rapidly during angling.

These advantages of the fishing swivels make the swivels present in the fishing rigs used by many anglers. A closer look at the different types of fishing swivels makes the right choice and helps provide excellence in fishing. 

Types of Fishing Swivels

The fishing swivels are categorized into 5 main types, which are:

  1. Barrel Swivel.

  2. Ball-bearing Swivel.

  3. Snap Swivel.

  4. Three-way Swivel.

  5. Finesse Swivels.

These 5 types of swivels help in covering 90% of the fishing applications and are used commonly while fishing. These fishing swivels are discussed in detail, enabling anglers to have complete knowledge about them.

Barrel Swivel

It is an original fishing swivel consisting of a pivot point with two rings attached to each end and making fishing easy. The middle joint on the swivel is round, and sometimes it is a small barrel, making angling convenient for anglers.

On the other hand, the barrel swivels are cheap enough to work efficiently and prevent the line from a twist, which makes casting easy and helpful for anglers; this remains effective and works efficiently. Since their rings are not efficient in rotation as the ball-bearing swivel offers.

Ball-bearing Swivel

These swivels are an improved version of barrel swivels and have a pivot point with ball-bearing inside. Because of this ball-bearing, the rings of the swivels rotate more freely than those of the standard barrel swivels. It helps in preventing the line from twisting efficiently.

The primary drawback of the ball bearing swivels is that they are much more expensive than that of barrel swivels. The one option is that you can utilize these swivels during fishing while you have a lure that generates the line twists increasingly.

Snap Swivel

It is also an improved barrel swivel version with a snap attached at one end instead of a regular swivel ring. Commonly, the primary usage of the snap swivel is to tie the main fishing line to the swivel ring and then utilize the snap to attach the lure ring to it.

The remarkable thing about its usage is that anglers can conveniently exchange the lure for another at any time. It is much faster than repeatedly tying the line when you change the lure. This method is too easy for anglers.

Three-way Swivel

The name of this swivel tells us about the rings that are attached to the pivot point; those are three in number instead of two. The benefit of having a swivel in this way is that the angler can add a separate leader line to one of the rings, and it has a different weight attached, which is at the end to make it work effectively. 

The leader line is attached to the weight with a weak main fishing line; it indicates that the weight tangles under the water; it is convenient to break the leader line without fretting about the damaged fishing gear.

The three-way swivel is the most commonly used, especially for trolling rigs and enables anglers to troll the heavyweight close to the bottom and makes them fret-free about snagging the equipment. 

Finesse Swivel

These are the new types of fishing swivels that have been relatively used with fishing with a drop shot rig. The hook has the swivel that is directly attached to it and helps rotate it around the swivel pivot.

On the other hand, the one end of the finesse swivel appears like a regular swivel ring at the point where the main fishing line is attached. The other end of the fishing swivel has a clip-on ring appearance with a drop shot weight.

The impressive thing about the finesse swivel is that the angler can use it to attach the drop shot weight by having a leader fishing line that is not tied to the fishing swivel and is clipped into it.

If your weight gets snagged at the bottom, this design enables anglers to pull the line attached to the swivel weight so that an angler could only lose the weight but not the remaining rigging. 

Choosing a Swivel for Fishing

It is crucial to have the right fishing swivel when fishing. It depends upon the fishing technique and the fishing lure that an angler wants to use. Fishing with lures needs a heavy rotating action, and it is too important to use the most suitable swivel that you can find, which can be a ball-bearing swivel.


On the contrary, you can go for a barrel swivel if you are fishing while using a lure that does not have a rotating power or fishing rigs that do not twist the fishing line. Also, if you want the flexibility of changing your lure or appearance at any time, it makes sense to utilize a snap swivel. One can also use it to attach a different leader line or lure too rapidly.


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Chris Alan

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